Trump says NY attacker should be put to death

President Donald Trump on Wednesday called for a death sentence for Sayfullo Saipov, the suspected terrorist sympathizer of the Islamic State (IS) who killed eight people in a multiple automotive hit within the streets of NY on Tuesday.

But Mr Trump tweeted that the judicial process at the Cuban detention centre takes longer than the federal court system.

Backing off his initial statement that he was considering detaining the suspect at America's most notorious prison, Trump said Thursday that Sayfullo Saipov instead should be executed through the civilian justice system, which historically has been delivered faster convictions than the military tribunal system.

The president also reiterated his call for the suspect, 29 year-old Sayfullo Saipov, to face the death penalty.

In a follow-up post, Trump added: "There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the disgusting crime he committed". He should receive the death penalty!

Trump said he would consider sending the suspect to the military prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama tried but failed to shut.

"They'll go through court for years.

It will endure." The phrase "it will endure" commonly refers to the Islamic State group, and Saipov had a cellphone loaded with the group's propaganda, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said in the criminal complaint.

"Send him to Gitmo".

The FBI said it had found a second Uzbekistan-born man, named Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, who was being sought after for questioning in relation to the attack.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's online publication said yesterday.

Attorney Ron Kuby, who represented a blind Egyptian sheik sentenced to life in prison after a Manhattan terrorism trial, said Trump's tweets, if anything, could work against his desire to see the death penalty. Eight people were killed, five of them friends from Argentina celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation.

The US president has shared his views on the possible punishment for the NY attack perpetrator.

Experts also said it would be highly improbable to send Saipov to Guantanamo because a federal judge would have to agree to turn him over to a military commission, and no person has ever been sent to Guantanamo straight from USA soil.

The military system is different to the country's federal criminal but as legal news website Above The Law pointed out: "when the President of the United States says you should be killed before you've even been tried, it causes real problems for the administration of justice". A 31-year-old Belgian mother was also among the dead and 12 other people were wounded in the worst attack in NY since the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda hijackings.

Columbia Law professor Matthew Waxman served in the Bush administration and specifically worked on Guantanamo Bay detention, and largely agreed with Vladeck that detaining Saipov would probably accomplish more harm than good. No one held in the USA has been sent to Guantanamo since the detention center opened in January 2002.

It said in its weekly issue of al-Naba newspaper that "the attacker is one of the caliphate soldiers".


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